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All There Was, was a collaborative project between astrophysicist Roberto Trotta and artists David Cheeseman and Ole Hagen. The title for the show refers to Roberto Trotta’s 2014 book The Edge of the Sky: All you need to know about the All-There-Is. The book is a history of the cosmos in the 1000 most common words in the English language. It turned out that the most frequently used words in the book were ‘all’, ‘there’ and ‘was’. The exhibition takes as a starting point the post-Newtonian orrery, a 3D model built on invisible features of the cosmos, such as dark matter, referenced in the Hologram and Black Dodechahedron. The problem of invisibility or hypothetical existence in relation to representation and communication is the starting point for an art and science dialogue. The blackboards are non-Euclidean surfaces where ideas are pursued in a less determined landscape somewhere between the theoretical and the actual.

Hologram with Black Dodecahedron
hologram closeup
Non-Euclidean Blackboard 3, close up
Non-Euclidean Blackboard 1 and 4
Non-Eucledian Blackboard 4
Non-Eucledian Blackboard 2
Non-Euclidean Blackboard 2, close up
‘All There Was’ Installation shot 1
‘All There Was’ Installation shot 2
Skylight 1
Skylight 2
Coloured skylight 3

Non-Euclidean Blackboard 3 (background) and Black Dodechahedron (foreground)

photo: Sylvain Deleu,


Fig 2, ICA 2015 Ole Hagen and David Cheeseman

The concertina blackboard was used in a performative talk by Roberto Trotta and Ole Hagen on the night, drawing on individual panels and discourses then opening to connect the two panels.

The dodechahedron is connected to the Hologram through a sensor activated by visitors to turn on the light in the Hologram, alluding to the time it takes for information to travel to what we perceive to be the present. By analogy the dodechahedron refers to the Platonic ‘fifth element’ which in this context could be dark matter.

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